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General guidance for hiring students

Job profiles Student hourly employee eligibility Hiring and performance Background checks Compensation Work hour limits

This page outlines the various job profiles students may be hired into, eligibility requirements, and employment standards that must be met for student employees within the College of Engineering.

Job profiles

Non-Academic student employees

Title/Pay classificationOccupation codeStandard qualificationsJob duties
Student assistant10875, 10889Undergraduate or graduate student positionGeneral student employment performing a variety of support tasks. Both undergraduate and graduate students can be appointed to this job class code. Student employees under this profile are not represented by the United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 4121. These roles are separate from work study positions and paid on an hourly basis.

Academic Student Employees (ASEs)

Include research and teaching assistants, readers, graders, tutors, and others who are represented by the United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 4121. Job titles listed below are in accordance with Article 15, Section 1 of the current ASE contract.

Title/Pay classificationOccupation codeStandard qualificationsJob duties
Reader/grader10886Undergraduate or graduate student position - non-teaching/research academic assistanceProvides diverse services as course assistants, normally including grading student papers and examinations. Duties may also include attendance at lectures, office hours, consultation with instructors, and other duties as assigned. They may not perform teaching duties. Paid within the hourly range.
Tutor10887Undergraduate or graduate Student position – tutoringTutors provide individual or group instructional activities in support of regular academic programs. Under supervision, duties may include individual tutoring sessions, group tutoring sessions, presedeveloping and teachingnting at workshops, and other duties as assigned. Tutors may not perform teaching duties. Paid within the hourly range.
Undergraduate teaching assistant10868Undergraduate student position – works with students in a classroom, lab, or quiz section setting.Provides administrative support for quiz, discussion, or lab sections and serves as class assistants. Faculty or other academic personnel should provide appropriate guidance and feedback, particularly in cases where Undergraduate Teaching Assistants are filling new roles and engaging in activities that are new to them. May not perform teaching duties. Paid within the hourly range.
Undergraduate research assistant10869Undergraduate student position – works on research projects, does not involve teaching component.Engage in research on sponsored research projects under the direct guidance and supervision of faculty or other research staff. Paid within the hourly range.
Stipend grad trainee C10859Graduate Student position – assist in research. 
Teaching assistant, Predoctoral Teaching Associate I, Predoctoral Teaching Associate II10817Premasters, postmaster, or doctoral candidate position – works with students in a classroom, lab, or quiz section setting.Faculty or other academic personnel should provide appropriate guidance and feedback, particularly in cases where Teaching Assistants are filling new roles and engaging in activities that are new to them.
Predoctoral instructor10804Premasters, postmaster, or candidate position – teaching own class.Pre-doctoral Instructors normally work independently and are solely responsible for the development and teaching of academic courses.
Research Assistant, Predoctoral Research Associate I, Predoctoral Research Associate II10847Premasters, postmaster, or candidate position – works on research projects, does not involve teaching component.Appropriate activities may also include independent research under the guidance of a faculty member.
Staff Assistant, Predoctoral Staff Associate I, Predoctoral Staff Associate II10857Premasters, postmaster, or candidate position – non-teaching/research academic assistance.Staff Assistants engage in activities such as student advising, institutional research, museum or art gallery assistance, university administration, etc. The activities should complement formal academic training, or research and teaching activities.
Graduate Research Student Assistant-summer only10854Graduate Student position – works on research in the summer quarter only.Students who receive a stipend payment for a fellowship or participate in a training program are not considered employed by the University of Washington.

Work Study

Positions available for eligible students in the Federal and State Work Study Programs that allow students to work part-time while going to school. To be eligible students must demonstrate financial need by completing the FAFSA application by the priority filling date each academic year and should work with their campus financial aid counselor to see if they are eligible for Work Study position on campus. Read more information on the Central UW website.

Title/Pay classificationOccupation codeExample business titles
Work Study Teaching Fellow10881Peer Study Abroad Advisor, Writing Consultant, Peer Adviser, Peer Writing Consultant, Work Study Tutor (America Reads)
Work Study Research Assistant10882Aquatics/Zebrafish Technician, GU Lab Assistant, CEER Program, and Research Assistant
Work Study Staff Assistant10883Fitness Center Attendant, Student Office Assistant, HUB Event & Information Service Assistant, Student Information Support Specialist

Associated Students of the University of Washington

Title/Pay classificationOccupation code

UW Daily and Unite UW Student Staff

Title/Pay classificationOccupation code
Student Publications Leadership10892
Student Publications Senior Staff10893

Student hourly employee eligibility

Student hourly employment is available to UW students who meet the following enrollment requirements:

  • Undergraduate students enrolled for a minimum of 6 credits.
  • Graduate students who are enrolled for a minimum of five credits, or two credits for Ph.D. candidates working on their dissertation. This does not include hourly paid positions covered by the United Auto Workers (UAW) collective bargaining agreement covering Academic Student Employees (ASEs)
  • Students on academic leave as defined in the “On leave” status section below.

It is the responsibility of the employing department to confirm an individual’s eligibility for a position as a student hourly employee by verifying enrollment with the appropriate registrar’s office. Student hourly employees are responsible for notifying their manager if they no longer meet minimum enrollment requirements.

Student hourly employees are considered “on leave” as follows:

  • Undergraduates – For one quarter immediately following a quarter in which the student was enrolled for at least 6 academic credits, including summer quarter, unless the student has graduated.
  • Graduate and professional students – When the student has applied for and been granted on-leave status by the Dean of the Graduate School.

Student hourly employees are exempt from Washington State civil service law unless they exceed 516 hours in a 6-month period, in accordance with WAC 357-04-040. Hours worked in temporary position(s) during the summer and other breaks in the academic year are not counted in the 516 hours. Departments should keep student hourly employees in student hourly employee job profiles during summer and other academic breaks.

Departments may utilize student hourly employees only to the extent that the student hourly employees supplement and do not displace or replace classified non-union or bargaining unit employees. Student hourly employees should not supervise bargaining unit employees but may supervise other student hourly employees.

Students whose enrollment no longer meets the requirements for student hourly employment must be immediately terminated from their student position. Depending on the circumstances, even if a student no longer meets the requirements for student hourly employment, it may be possible to appoint the individual as a nonpermanent employee.

Hiring and performance

Each department is responsible for conducting its own recruitment for student hourly employment. Departments may post vacant positions using the services of the UW Career & Internship Center using Handshake but are not required to do so.

Departments hiring hourly student hourly employees must:

To be eligible for student hourly employment, individuals must be eligible to work in the United States and complete the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 and present original document(s) that establish their identity and employment authorization within three business days of their first day of employment. 

Compensation and work hours limits

Information about compensation for student hourly employees is outlined on the student employee compensation and work hours limits webpage.

Onboarding and training

As part of onboarding, all UW employees, including student hourly employees, are required to take the following trainings:

  • Husky Prevention & Response (Title IX)
  • Violence prevention & response
  • Reporting suspected child abuse
  • Asbestos awareness

Information about these required trainings is available on the UWHR required employee training webpage.

Student hourly employees involved in the hiring process as interviewers, interview schedulers, or hiring managers of other student hourly employees are also required to take the Implicit bias training and Record keeping in the hiring process trainings. Managers should also reference the onboarding checklist for managers for student employees when hiring new student employees, which is a checklist created specifically by UWHR for onboarding student employees.

Training and evaluation periods

Depending on the nature and complexity of a student position’s duties, individual units may establish structured training and evaluation periods for newly hired student hourly employees. Units should clearly communicate that completing the initial training and evaluation period establishes eligibility for continued employment but does not guarantee it.

Templates for student evaluation forms can be found on the student evaluation resources page as well as on the UW Career & Internship Center website.

Termination of employment

Student hourly employees do not serve a probationary period and do not achieve permanent employment status. The duration of a student hourly position is subject to the needs of the employing unit and may be ended as determined by the unit for reasons related or unrelated to the student’s job performance. Contact the Human Resources Consultant for your unit if you have concerns regarding the conduct or behavior of a student hourly employee.

Background checks

Sexual misconduct reference check

Washington state law and University policy prohibits the of hiring of candidates for staff and covered student employment who do not complete and sign a sexual misconduct declaration prior to their start of employment and requires the UW to conduct a sexual misconduct verification on the final candidate’s current and past postsecondary educational institution employers prior to offer of employment. 

This check is required to be completed before an offer is made.

Further background checks

Student employees working on campus, including RAs and TAs and volunteers who perform duties that meet one or more of the security/safety sensitive criteria below are required to complete a criminal history background check.

  • Access to children or vulnerable populations.
  • Access to certain IT systems.
  • Access to personally identifying information.
  • Access to financial resources or information.
  • Access to information, places, or systems with security implications.
  • Access to pharmaceuticals or controlled substances.

Compensation: calendar year 2024

Job CodeJob ProfileOvertime EligibleMinimum RateMaximum RateUsage
10875Student AssistantYes$19.97$75.00Undergraduate student hourly employment performing a variety of support tasks
10887Student Assistant – GraduateYes$19.97$75.00Graduate student hourly employment performing a variety of support tasks (non-ASE)

For Academic student employee hourly pay rates, please reference the College of Engineering ASE hourly pay rate website, which is updated with the most current data from UW Compensation. Links to the departments within the College are posted to view what they are paying their student employees. Pay rates may vary based on funding.

Pay increases for current student employees

Student pay ranges are updated annually to keep pace with the City of Seattle minimum wage, which increases each January 1 based on inflation. At the time of an update, any student employees paid below the new range minimum will be increased to the range minimum.

Work hour limits

Student hourly employees are limited to working 19.5 hours per workweek during a quarter in which the student is enrolled but may work more than 19.5 hours per workweek during school breaks or when “on leave.”

Student hourly employee work hour limits are in place:

  • To support student academic progress.
  • To maintain a public higher education institution’s ability to use a student FICA exemption.
  • In alignment with WAC 357-04-040, which exempts students from state civil service if they work 516 hours or less in any six consecutive months (excluding academic breaks). The 516-hour limitation averages 19 hours per week over a six-month period.

Work hours and working conditions for student hourly employees under the age of 18 are covered by the UW Requirements for Employing Minors.

Hour limits during breaks or summer quarter

Student hourly employees may exceed the 19.5-hour limit during academic breaks (e.g., spring, winter) and between quarters under the following circumstances:

  • Enrollment break period – the student met enrollment eligibility in the previous quarter but is “on leave” for a quarter prior to re-enrollment.
  • Prior to the first quarter of enrollment – the student meets enrollment criteria for the next quarter and wants to work in the prior quarter (e.g., works summer prior to autumn quarter start).

Student hourly employees who graduate are not eligible to work as a student hourly employee after their last final exam or during break periods unless they are enrolling in the following quarter as a graduate student.

If a student hourly employee works during breaks in the academic year or summer break, those hours worked are not counted toward the 516 hour limit in the civil service exemption under WAC 357-04-040.

Federal payroll deduction requirements may apply to work performed during breaks and periods “on leave.” See the UW Tax Office website for detailed information.

Exceptions to the work hours limits

Under WAC 357-04-040, students who are participating in a documented and approved internship program which consists of an academic component and work experience such as a Nursing Tech, UW student (job code 10884) or Pharmacist Intern – Student (job code 21242) are exempt from the 19.5 hour per week work hour limit. Likewise, students elected or appointed to a student body office, ASUW Appointee (job code 10890) or student organization position such as student officers or student news staff members are exempted from work hours limits. Students who exceed 19.5 hours per week may trigger federal FICA deductions.

Hourly pay requirements, work records and overtime

Student hourly employees are overtime-eligible and must be compensated for all hours worked. Student hourly employees do not receive paid holidays.

Departments must maintain a timesheet for student hourly employees in Workday or Kronos to comply with FLSA record-keeping requirements.

Meal and rest periods

Student hourly employees must receive rest and meal periods in accordance with Washington State law, which states the following.

Employees must be allowed a paid rest period, free from duties, of at least 10 minutes for every 4 hours worked, additionally:

  • Employees cannot be required to work more than 3 hours without a rest break.
  • Breaks must be scheduled as close to the midpoint of a work period as possible.
  • Employers can require workers to stay on the job site during a rest break. 
  • Rest breaks are considered “hours of work” when calculating paid sick leave and overtime.


Student hourly employees are covered by mandatory overtime requirements and must be compensated at time and a half for all hours worked over 40 hours per the University of Washington’s standard workweek. If a student hourly employee has more than one University position, the hours worked in all positions are totaled to determine the total hours worked within the workweek. See also Overtime Eligibility and Compensation for Non-Academic Employees.


More information about student employment

Central HR student employment